New foreign secretary David Cameron meets Zelensky
A majority of Russians still support Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, according to a poll from Russia. Some 76 per cent of respondents said they backed the invasion, while 21 per cent thought it was going poorly.
Meanwhile, one in five said they thought the country was on the “wrong path”. Some 45 per cent of those believe Russia was on the wrong path cited “war” and “people are dying”.
Earlier, president Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Ukraine has forced Russia’s naval fleet to pull back in the eastern part of the Black Sea, president Volodymyr Zelensky claimed.
“For the first time in the world, it was in the Black Sea that a fleet of naval drones began to operate – a Ukrainian fleet,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram.
“I would also like to note that now – as one of the main results of our actions – Russia is unable to use the Black Sea as a springboard to destabilise other regions of the world.”
It comes as former prime minister David Cameron assured Volodymyr Zelensky the UK would continue to provide “moral, diplomatic, economic and military support” to Ukraine in his first trip to the country as foreign secretary.
ICYMI: Russian court convicts a woman for protesting the war in Ukraine in latest crackdown on free speech
A Russian court on Thursday convicted an artist and musician for replacing supermarket price tags with antiwar slogans and sentenced her to seven years in prison, Russian media reported.
Sasha Skochilenko, 33, has been held in her home city of St. Petersburg since April 2022 on charges of spreading false information about the military.
She was arrested a month after Russia adopted a law effectively criminalizing any public expression about the war in Ukraine that deviates from the Kremlin’s official line. The legislation has been used in a widespread crackdown on opposition politicians, human rights activists and ordinary Russians critical of the Kremlin, with many receiving lengthy prison terms.
Matt Mathers17 November 2023 04:30
Finland to close 4 border crossing points after accusing Russia of organizing flow of migrants
Finland will close four crossing points on its long border with Russia to stop the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants that it accuses Moscow of ushering to the border in recent months, the government said Thursday.
Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said the southeastern crossing points — Imatra, Niirala, Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa — will be closed at midnight Friday on the Finland-Russia land border that serves as the European Union’s external border.
Matt Mathers17 November 2023 03:30
British ‘pro-Russian propagandist’ awaits ruling on High Court sanctions fight
A British former civil servant who has been described in Parliament as a “pro-Russian propagandist” is waiting to see if he has won a High Court fight with Foreign Office ministers after being sanctioned.
Graham Phillips, who is living in Ukraine, was made the subject of an “asset freeze” in July 2022 – a decision upheld on “ministerial review” in February, a judge has been told.
Matt Mathers17 November 2023 02:30
In Russia, more Kremlin critics are being imprisoned as intolerance of dissent grows
Russia under President Vladimir Putin has been closing in on those who challenge the Kremlin. Protesters and activists have been arrested or imprisoned, independent news outlets have been silenced, and various groups have been added to registers of “foreign agents” and “undesirable organizations.”
The crackdown has been going on for years.
But it increased within days of the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, when Russia adopted a law criminalizing the spreading of “false information” about the military, effectively outlawing any public expression about the war that deviated from the official narrative. Scores of people have been prosecuted under the new law, and those implicated in high-profile cases have been given long prison terms.
Matt Mathers17 November 2023 01:30
ICYMI: David Cameron meets Zelensky in Ukraine in first visit as foreign secretary – and praises Boris Johnson
Matt Mathers17 November 2023 00:30
Ukraine has had successes opening up Black Sea shipping lanes – US official
Russia has failed in its efforts to reduce Ukrainian grain exports to zero and Kyiv’s military successes in the Black Sea have allowed to open up shipping lanes, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.
The Biden administration was working through a request to Congress for more funding for Ukraine and believes there are strong majorities in support of the funding, but Ukraine would “have a severe problem” without the money, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters on U.S. policy.
Matt Mathers16 November 2023 23:30
Poland eyes purchase of 25 US mine-clearing tanks
Poland aims to buy 25 mine-clearing tanks from the United States, the country’s Armament Agency said on Thursday, as Warsaw seeks to beef up its armed forces following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Poland plans to spend around 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence this year and the outgoing government of the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party vowed to double the size of the army.
The Armament Agency said it aimed to buy the tanks under Washington’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, which facilitates defence purchases from U.S. producers.
“Mine-clearing tanks for the Polish Army!” the agency wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. “The purpose of the FMS procedure is to procure 25 M1150 ABV sapper vehicles from the U.S.”
Matt Mathers16 November 2023 22:30
US issues sanctions to limit Russian influence in Balkans
The United States on Thursday targeted 10 individuals in a new round of sanctions aimed at containing Russian influence in the Western Balkans, the U.S. Treasury said.
The Treasury also imposed sanctions on 20 entities, including 11 based in Russia, in line with executive orders related to the Western Balkans and Russia, according to a Treasury website.
Other sanctioned entities are based in North Macedonia, Liberia, and the United Arab Emirates. Three Liberia-registered oil tankers also were targeted.
The Western Balkans-related sanctions are the latest imposed by the United States on politicians, other individuals and organizations designed to contain Russian efforts to prevent the region’s integration into international institutions, the Treasury said.
The sanctions freeze all property and other assets those targeted have in the United States or are controlled by U.S. citizens and generally prohibit Americans from doing business with them.
Those hit with sanctions are individuals from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
They include Savo Cvijetinovic, a senior official of the political party led by Milorad Dodik, the pro-Russia leader of Republika Srpska (RS), who already is under U.S. sanctions for alleged corruption and promoting the secession of the Serb-dominated half of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Matt Mathers16 November 2023 21:30
US Congress closes without approving more aid for Ukraine and Israel
The US Congress closed its doors for nearly two weeks on Thursday without passing emergency aid for Israel and Ukraine, as lawmakers argued over unrelated immigration policy and faced pockets of resistance from Republicans on continued aide for Kyiv’s war against Russia.
The Senate adjourned well after midnight after passing a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Supporters of the foreign military aid had hoped it would be included in the spending bill, known as a continuing resolution.
President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve the money last month. Its omission from the spending bill raised concerns that funding for Kyiv might never be appropriated especially after the Republican-led House passed a bill this month including assistance for Israel, but not Ukraine. The Senate’s Democratic leaders rejected that bill.
A vocal bloc of Republicans oppose sending more aid to Kyiv as it fights a nearly 21-month-long Russian invasion. Opponents of the aid say US taxpayer money should be spent at home, but majority of Republicans and Democrats in Congress still support aid to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week showed 41 per cent of Americans backed sending weapons to Ukraine, compared to 32 per centwho were opposed and the rest unsure. The same poll showed U.S. public support dropping for Israel’s war against Hamas militants.
Matt Mathers16 November 2023 20:30
Thousands of Ukrainian children taken to Belarus – Yale research
More than 2,400 children from Ukraine aged between six and 17 years old have been taken to 13 facilities across Belarus since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, research published by Yale University said on Thursday.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in May that he was investigating the alleged role of Belarus in the forced transfer of more than 19,000 identified children from Russian-occupied territories since the conflict broke out, including to Russia.
The total number is estimated by some experts and organisations to be far higher.
The findings by the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale School of Public Health, which receives US State Department funding, shared with Reuters are the most extensive to date about the alleged role of Belarus in the Russian relocation program for Ukrainian children.
“Russia’s systematic effort to identify, collect, transport, and re-educate Ukraine’s children has been facilitated by Belarus,” the report said.
“Russia’s federal government and Belarus’ regime have been working together to coordinate and fund the movement of children from Russia-occupied Ukraine through Russia to Belarus.”
Matt Mathers16 November 2023 19:30